Is masturbation damaging my relationship?

I really love my wife – and we have good sex, well, around three times a week. Usually twice at weekends and once in the week. Trouble is, I’m in an office on my own and I keep flipping YouPorn on my computer. I find I’m masturbating more than having sex – and the thought that I might get caught (people have sometimes come in – but not realized, I think!) makes it even more exciting. Sometimes I’m thinking it’s getting more of a turn on than sex with my wife and may damage my marriage. What do you suggest?

Our reply – Have your say in the LoveSpace forums:

Short answer: If you think masturbating to porn is damaging your marriage, to a person you love, then stop doing it.

Long answer: It sounds as if you’re flicking between what we can broadly describe as two types of sex play. One is about love and intimacy. The other is about risk-taking, thrill-seeking, ‘forbidden’ fantasies… and out and out boredom. Given all the spunk in the world, it could well be the case that there’s no particular reason one should detract from the other. Masturbation, and masturbation to porn, can be a perfectly harmless way of exploring and enjoying your sexual self. Your solo sex play here can factor into your love life with your partner. Indeed, it’s generally the case that men and women alike learn a lot about their sexual selves through masturbation. The naughtiness at the thought of being caught is also, frankly, a turn-on for most of us – although you might want to add as a caveat here the thought of what will actually happen if you really are caught: summary dismissal would seem fairly likely, which is not a good idea in these down-trending times. (If your job really is that dull, get your CV out there while it’s still viable.)

All that aside, fact is you don’t have all the spunk in the world. If you’re draining your tackle by day, you’re simply less likely to want to ejaculate – to need to ejaculate – when you’re with your wife in the evening. Whatever’s going on in your mind, your reproductive system isn’t distinguishing between an office wank and a lovemaking sesh with your one and only. Post-adolescence, one or two orgasms/ejaculations a day is enough for most of us. Beyond that, we really do have to be very inspired. It’s not surprising you’re more turned on before you’ve masturbated however many times than you are when you’ve carried your bruised meat home. (And bear in mind that your testosterone levels are generally higher in the morning in any case.)

So, yes, take a break from the porn sites. (This is a work computer, you know. You may be being monitored while you browse.) Try switching your sex-schedule around. Have sex before you go out to work. Whether it’s a quick and hard deep missionary position or gently rocking spoons – or suggest you shower together while you masturbate – you’ll have ejaculated and taken the edge off. There’ll be no need to come again at least until you get back home, and then your body might be up for some more leisured sex play, through which you really can express love and intimacy.

The bottom line is that, if this is damaging your relationship, you need to switch your sense of arousal, orgasm and the sex play you’re having away from risk-taking, solo naughtiness and back to the love life that matters most. Then, while you’re at it, get a job that’s more interesting and less about filling time.

Posted in Sex, Sex Problems